The Survey of India (SOI) has launched new web portal called Nakshe to make open series maps available to Indians for free.
Organization : Survey of India (SOI)
Founder: East India Company
The portal was launched by Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan on the occasion of 250th anniversary of SOI.
Features of Nakshe Portal
It will offer a free download of 3,000 Topographic maps or Open Series Maps (OSM) in a pdf format on 1:50,000 scale through Aaadhar enabled user authentication process. The maps are meant for development activities in the country and can be also used to plan scientific expeditions, research, and planning development projects. Topographic maps or OSM comprise natural and man-made geographical features including terrain or topography.
The SoI has a rich collection of over 5,000 maps. While it made 3,000 maps open to the public for download, 1700 will be available for downloading soon. The remaining maps are awaiting clearance. Under the National Map Policy 2005, it had become necessary to make non-defence maps accessible for public. “Earlier, even government departments had to pay some amount to get the maps from Survey of India. We have relaxed that norm now,” Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, the ministry of Science and Technology, said. Harsh Vardhan said the SoI is also awaiting clearance from Nepal to measure the height of Mt. Everest post-2015 earthquake.
About Survey of India (SOI)
SOI is the principal mapping agency of the country. It comes under the Department of Science & Technology. Its origin can be traced back to The year 1767, making it oldest scientific department in India and one of the oldest survey establishments in the world. It prepares maps for defense and civilian purposes and is considered a standard reference for the shape, extent and geographic features of the country. SOI has surveyed and mapped each and every part of the country and these maps have played a valuable role in nation building and were pivotal in almost all major developmental activities of modern India.
Note: Foundation for the scientific survey and mapping of the country was laid with The Great Trigonometric Survey (GTS) in the 19th century on 10th April 1802, by noted surveyors Col. Lambton and Sir George Everest. Interestingly, Everest has been named after former Surveyor General of India Col Sir George Everest. The measurement of the world’s highest peak has been made by the SoI.